PsyCare Austria is a registered NPO in Austria founded by Marlene Rupp and Orsolya Fehér. With a team of 60 volunteers, we travel to festivals all over Europe to help those who undergo difficult, drug-related experiences, also known as Bad Trips.
Bad Trips cause people to be physically and mentally vulnerable; they often experience feelings of fear, paranoia, delusion, discomfort and even psychosis; creating the potential for them to be a danger to themselves and others. In such cases, conventional medical services may struggle to find an appropriate response. Being taken to hospital or handled by security or police whilst undergoing an intense and frightening psychedelic experience can be incredibly traumatic and increase the risk of long-term emotional and psychological harm.
Drug users in distress can find refuge in our tent. First, we check if they require medical attention. If their vital signs are fine, our volunteers sit with them through their experience and provide whatever help is needed, e.g. water, blankets, emotional reassurance. Through our immediate and compassionate assistance we help to reduce the number of drug-related medical interventions, hospitalizations and arrests. The work of PsyCare organizations worldwide has demonstrated that these individuals often only require the type of engaged, empathic care we provide, in order to move from a place of crisis to a calm, positive perspective.
Acute crisis intervention, in combination with preventative as well as aftercare and educational services are our contributions to a Harm Reduction oriented drug policy.
Our volunteers are dedicated to helping people. We do not encourage the use of illegal substances, neither do we condemn such behaviour. We are not here to judge, we are here to care.
PsyCare is peer led, on-site harm reduction services that aim to address problems immediately as they emerge, particularly at festivals and other music events. PsyCare is designed to help people navigate challenging experiences and prevent long term harm that might be caused if such situations are not handled appropriately.
Integration circles can help people to process their (challenging) drug-experiences after the fact. During small group sessions, trained facilitators help participants to re-visit the event and encourage them to take a closer look at their thoughts and emotions. Often, such experiences—particularly the difficult ones—carry meaningful insights, which in turn, can lead to a positive change of behavior.
We prepare our volunteers for their work at the festivals. Dependent on their individual skill level, our members can get to know the foundations of Psycare or even deepen their knowledge in our study group that's dedicated to psychedelics-assisted therapy.